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Getting Married In Massachusetts

Have you been planning on getting married in Massachusetts?  One of the most amazing facts about the United Sates is that you can get married in any state in the country without having to be a resident. That really makes for a special wedding if you have close ties to a different state or if you live away from your family. However, all the laws and regulations surrounding getting married in that state will still bind you.  This means that you will want to make your Massachusetts marriage research be one of the top things on your to do list.  You just never know what assortment of licenses, applications, and fees will be involved until you actually look into it.

Forms, Licenses, and Information For Couples In The Bay State

When you start your search for information about marriage requirements in the Bay State you will find that there are tons of useful links and documents. One of these that is not official but that many people use as a reference is the How To Get Married in Massachusetts guide that is done by GLAD. One of the reasons why there are so many different resources out there is because of Massachusetts' same sex marriage laws have required an over all change of the system. 

But besides resources like this it is always best to start your search at the Massachusetts government website and do a search for marriage license. This will take you to the information you need to start the process. For instance, here is where you will find out what age you are able to get married at without the consent of your parents as well as where you must go to get your marriage license issued. In the case of Massachusetts marriages you must go to the local town or city town clerks office. This site will also give you a link to follow to what is called the Commonwealth Communities. Here you will find a full listing of all the towns and city clerks offices so that you can complete the next step in a getting married in Massachusetts.

Lets say you want to be married in Greenfield Massachusetts.  You would then go to the official Greenfield Massachusetts Town Clerks site and see what they have in store for you.  You can also simply get the names and addresses if you would prefer and go there directly. You can even call ahead first.  Everything you need can easily be found online if you know where to look.

For instance, when you go to get your marriage license you will find that you must bring with you many different documents depending on your circumstances.  While both the bride and the groom will be required to bring in proof of identification, they should also think about bringing in their birth certificates. This is because your marriage license will require specific information concerning the bride and groom as well as their parents.  It is also a requirement now to bring in proof of your social security number. This is to help in the future if any issues come up concerning child support.

Other than that you will be required to bring in a certified copy of documentation proving you are no longer married if you were previously married.  A divorce decree or even a death certificate will do as long as they are certified copies. 

The fees associated with getting married in Massachusetts start out at $24.00 for the actual marriage license. Then if you want a certified copy of your marriage certificate it is usually an additional $20.  This is in fact a very commonly overlooked point that must be brought up. In the future after you are married you will find that there are many reasons why you will want to own a certified copy of your marriage records. And because of this it is always best to get one right after your marriage so that you don't forget.  This is especially important to those that live far from this state as it will take longer in the future to get your own copy.

Your license is only valid for 90 days. And while this may seem like a long time it can be stressful during those last few months before the wedding. So make sure you set your date within that three month period. Also, when it comes to your wedding It must be witnessed.  This means that anyone other than the officiate must be there to see you get married, and there must be at least two witnesses.  The only time anyone other than the witnesses can sign the marriage certificate is if your honor attendants are the witnesses and they are under 18 years of age. Then it is allowable to have any other person that was at the wedding ceremony sign the certificate.

When it comes to who actually performs your ceremony you will find that Massachusetts has a very broad idea on who is qualified. This is actually very good as many states only allow two or three different types of officials to perform ceremonies. This again goes to show how open this great state is. For example, if you want to be married on the top of a mountain by your best friend that is a Justice of the Peace then you can. In fact, Massachusetts has one of the longest lists of those able to perform marriages in the country. Just remember to be prepared and it will al go smoothly in the end.